In California, flu struck surprisingly early and hard this season. As of Dec. 30, the California Department of Public Health reported elevated flu activity in all of the state’s 58 counties. The state’s warmer temperatures typically mean people are less confined indoors and result in a later flu season compared with other regions. Health experts aren’t sure why this season is different.
Nationally, flu is widespread in 46 states, including California, according to the latest reports to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As of mid-December, at least 106 Americans had died from the infectious disease. At least 27 Californians younger than 65 had died as of Friday, seven of them during the week before Christmas. And states across the country are reporting higher-than-average flu-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits.